Kansas man accused in child rape must be freed, high court rules

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -

A divided Kansas Supreme Court says a man accused of rape and aggravated sodomy against a 3-year-old relative cannot be tried a second time and must be released from prison.

A Saline County judge declared a mistrial in March 2018 trial of Rictor Bowman because the then-4-year-old girl wouldn't take the oath to be sworn in as a witness. The judge ruled the state couldn't prove its case without the girl's testimony.

The Kansas City Star reports that in a 4-3 split decision announced Friday, the Supreme Court ruled the trial judge should not have declared a mistrial. The justices said putting Bowman on trial a second time would violate his constitutional right against double jeopardy.

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